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The Struggles of Labour - Essay Example

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The author of the current essay claims that ever-changing economic conditions, industrial and technological developments, and political environment have resulted in changes in wages, working conditions, and employment opportunities. Back in 1880, there was no awareness of workplace safety…
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The Struggles of Labour
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During 1880, there were plenty of immigrants coming in during the first phase of the American Industrial Revolution as there were many jobs and wages. However, in 1920, when there was still the Economic Depression, everyone worked for low wages in poor conditions as factories could not start using machinery (Nelson, D. (n.d.)).  Regarding wages, they worked “a 10-hour day (12 hours in the steel industry), yet earned from 20 to 40 percent less than the minimum deemed necessary for a decent life” as US history on The Struggles of Labour encapsulates the working conditions during 1880-1920. They even spent 70 hours a week on work still earning very little. So, to encapsulate it “even in good times wages were low, hours long and working conditions hazardous” (The Struggles of Labour, n.d.) However, in the present, the manufacturing industry has witnessed spectacular changes in terms of working conditions which was the direct result of development in safer technologies, trade unions, medical technology, labor law, and litigation. Now, a job in the manufacturing industry would mean high wages, flexible working hours, 40-hours week, with paid overtime and not very labor intensive as technology solutions are helpful. Buildings or factories themselves are well ventilated in compliance with building conditions of the labor department. In conclusion, if I had worked in the period 1880-1920, I would have suffered physical strain, injuries and might have even faced fatal working conditions; now, I work in safer conditions, but may get stressed out or deprived of sleep due to changing shifts and working over-time for increased wages. A modern worker in the manufacturing sector enjoys benefits of healthcare but the health issues involve more of mental issues than physical ones. However, it is undeniable that modern working conditions are safer and more conducive than in the early modern period. Read More
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